Written by a leading Fanon scholar, and with an acute philosophical intelligence, Fanonian Practices in South Africa is a sophisticated attempt to examine post-apartheid South Africa through the emancipatory lens of Frantz Fanon’s revolutionary humanism.
The aim here is not to recuperate the historical Fanon but to recreate Fanon’s philosophy of liberation in a new situation. That is exactly what Steve Biko did in the early 1970s when he found in Fanon’s philosophy the ground for Black Consciousness. Fanon is being discussed again in South Africa, and I believe that his philosophy can, once more, ground a new emancipatory movement. I find in Fanon not only a valuable critique of post-apartheid South Africa, but also a critique of, and a practical guide to, engaging the new movements that are emerging from below.
In the vortex of mass movements against colonialism, Fanon argued that it was important to develop new concepts. These concepts, he believed, would emerge not from secluded contemplations on philosophy, but through reflections on, and engagements with, ‘real’ movements of those excluded, marginalised and disenfranised masses, namely the damned of the earth, struggling for social change.
- from the introduction